I think I might want a HW popup. How are they on dirt roads?

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Dingit, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Hi!

    I'm thinking about getting a popup. I like windows and hardside trailers have too few. Plus, garage storage is nice. My TV should be fine for any popup.

    We camp mainly in western national forest service/BLM/state park type campgrounds so would like to be mostly self-contained. And the trailer has to hold up on poorly maintained dirt roads.

    We want good storage space and beds for 4 people (they can share), as well as a bathroom. I've been looking at manufacturers' websites--seems like there aren't very many left making popups--just to get an idea of what's out there. I'm thinking a highwall would be less to set up than a low wall model. The "off-road" models seem to be low walls. Do any of the highwalls do okay on dirt roads? I used to have an old popup and I always worried about it on rough roads.

    Highwalls do set up faster, right?

    Thanks for any advice/warnings. :)
     
  2. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

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    Set up is much the same. I will say that the HW campers have a small black water tank as to where to regular pop ups have a cassette toilet. Cassette you can remove tank and empty it, as to the HW you will have to drain it in a portable storage tank to empty it or take camper to dump station. Just something to think about. Good luck on your future purchase.
     
  3. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Famous last words of a lot of people.. Not saying you are not correct, it is just that many folks here have bought a trailer and then started to look at their vehicles ratings only to find out they needed a more capable vehicle..

    Takes about the same amount of time to set up ..
     
  4. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    keep in mind that HW popups are heavier than the regular popups. Mine is 3500 lbs max and average HW weights about 4200 to 4600 lbs. My Explorer can pull the HW as long as its empty.

    A good TV with V8 would be able to pull any HWs.

    If I "flip" the axle in my Niagara, it would be higher (5 inches) and may be fine with dirt road as long as I have appropriate tires for the dirt road travel.
     
  5. Heartman_wa

    Heartman_wa Active Member

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    The only difference in set up is lifting the galley into place but on many HW you have to put the facet neck back on which makes that a wash.
     
  6. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    I much prefer a cassette to a (built in) black tank. Definitely something to consider. I will have to see if there is room in the bathroom for a portapotty. Those bathrooms are pretty small though.

    I was thinking that with the HW you don't have to set the countertops in place so it would be quicker, but that's not really a big thing overall. Actually in my old popup it was sort of a big deal because everything in the top part traveled upside down but I don't think they make them like that anymore.

    The TV is a truck that should be fine with the weight--I still haven't researched sway control hitches (I assume I'd want that?) but I don't anticipate any issues.

    An axle flip and better tires seems doable. Does the rest of the trailer hold up to miles of jiggles? :)

    Are some brands better than others for rough roads?
     
  7. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    A thing to note, is on a highwall model those bunk ends are going to be much higher up. So if your campsite is on a hill/cliff you will have to have a large step stool to pull the bunk out. Also some of the highwall models have the hardwall showers which would need to be set up. Not to mention the table to be set up. I suggest to check a few highwalls out in person to get a better idea about set up. There still may be some set up with the sink involved as well. My two cents if you know your going to be off-road more, the off road models may be better for you. For one, a lot of the off road models have diamond plate in the front to prevent a lot of damage from dings.
     
  8. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Just throwing this out there for consideration. They have a highwall hardwall A frame models that have very quick setup times. The one I was looking at had a large skylights that let in quite a bit of light and the models that have the dormer windows give you more open feel. Only problem with those is if you have a family of more than 3 things can be tight.
     
  9. jmcclung11

    jmcclung11 Active Member

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    Some highwalls have cassette potties too. I was looking at a 2007 model..not Coleman..that had a cassette. I liked that idea better then a black tank for a pup.

    Sent from my LGG4.
     
  10. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the information!

    I should make it clear that I don't actually go "offroad". I just sometimes end up on bad roads. :)

    I do need something bigger than an A-frame--2 kids, spouse, and large dog. Browsing images online, I'm starting to like the hard bathroom walls (I know it's just psychological but it's better!) and the slightly larger fridges and cabinets of the highwalls. Are the cargo capacities on these things reasonable? The 2017 Flagstaff HW29SC claims 1278 lbs. CCC. That seems low once you factor in water and dog food.

    I'll try to check out some dealers this weekend. I can only find Forest River/Rockwood making new HWs. Am I missing someone?

    I'm in the wrong subforum. Sorry!
     
  11. jmcclung11

    jmcclung11 Active Member

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    There is a 2007 Starcraft 3612 that might fit your needs on rvtrader.com. That was the one I see thinking about in my previous post. It's in Prosperity, WV, but will give you an idea of something other then Fleetwood/Coleman.

    Sent from my LGG4.
     
  12. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    That's nice! Very similar floor plan but looks a little more rugged. Do these things really hold their value that well? I'll be keeping an eye on local sales, but I'll try to get more focused before bothering individuals. :)
     
  13. jmcclung11

    jmcclung11 Active Member

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    Yeah..not sure about the price without more research. But, I have seen the highwalls hold their value more at least on the east coast. I'm thinking that one is still a little pricey since it is at a dealer.

    Sent from my LGG4.
     
  14. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    I will say this....high walls do not set up faster. You have a certain order you must do things to be able to reach them before being able to fully set up and all those things take time. I have to carry a step stool to reach the few things that can only be done after the camper is set up. My pup is terribly heavy due to being a high wall with a slide out. But I enjoy the head room and the normal counter top height compared to other normal pups. The beds are harder to get into, and setting up poles that are at neck level is not a lot of fun. High walls are not for everyone, but work well for some. There are things I love about our high wall, and things I hate about our highwall. Overall is it worth it? To me, yes. To a 60 year old woman, doubtful. Once I left the keys on the roof, then set up. Rather than tear down I had to pull my truck as close as I could to the door side, then get on the roof of my truck, which mind you is on 35" tires, then I could reach the keys [LOL]
     
  15. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    Oh and by the way, let me NOT recommend doing anything along the lines of forest river. We have a 2014 flagstaff hw27ks and after a few trips I began to fully realize how many corners were cut by the company in order to get these things off the line with a quickness. Screws rattling loose that you have no clue where they came from, trim screws in crooked, poor use of sealants around vents on the roof. Overall I am not unhappy with the camper, but if I could do it all over again I would not purchase anything related to forest river or any sub-company of them. For the price we paid, I expect much more quality.
     
  16. xZoomerZx

    xZoomerZx Active Member

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    The only thing I can think to add is that if you are going to be on unimproved roads you do NOT want a model with a black/gray tank. The drain hangs too low. One good pothole and the whole shebang is ruined.
     
  17. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I will have to get underneath anything I'm looking at to inspect tank location, which is probably a good idea anyway.

    Some of the larger models have 2 axles. I suppose there are pros and cons for that as well?
     
  18. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    Pros for double axles are much more cargo capacity, a bit steadier ride, better braking I'm sure. The reason we didn't go with a double axle was that floor model did not have access to the fridge while the roof was down (fridge and heater swapped locations vs. next largest model) and that's a big deal because we always load up the fridge before we head out to save room in the cooler. Also the tandem axle would not fit in a 2 car garage due to the added length.
     
  19. Firehawk068

    Firehawk068 Active Member

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    We have a "High-wall", "off-road" capable PUP.
    2007 Starcraft 34-RT.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    It does have a cassette toilet/shower combo.

    I would say setup/takedown would probably take the same amount of time and work as a low-wall model. No gain there.

    The frame on this one is built like a tank! Extremely strong, but slightly over-built and slightly heavy. No worries about taking it off road.

    One thing that makes it a challenge as far as setup goes, since it is both a high-wall model and off-road capable, is the rear bunk is really high off the ground.
    (I am tall, so it's not a huge problem for me) my wife would not be able to set this up on her own without a step-stool.

    Also, with the A/C unit on the roof it is too tall to fit in the garage.
    Something else to keep in mind.
     
    vaderhater22 likes this.
  20. Dunce

    Dunce New Member

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    THAT IS AWESOME
     

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